Although MSN will continue to lag behind AOL in the number of Internet subscribers, Microsoft may ultimately compete head-to-head with AOL for consumer dollars spent online. 'Content is not king, and it never has been,' declares Matthew Rosoff, an analyst at consulting firm Directions on Microsoft, referring to AOL Time Warner's top media brands. 'Compared with AOL,' he adds, 'Microsoft has a far superior understanding of how consumers use computing devices,' which will help it woo consumers who want more than just dial-up access.So, is this to say that people use technology for the sake of technology? That interactive systems are about interacting with the systems? That if these things are true then MSFT wins? Not!
Even if MSFT has a better understanding of 'how consumers use computing devices' (which is debatable) how does that translate into wooing users who want more than online access? I'd suggest that the 'superior understanding' would translate into more compelling and usable systems that enable people to use technology in meaningful ways. Im my experience, MSFT certainly doesn't have the usability market cornered, and what content do they have? None. Time to embrace and expand?